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Tory MEPs push for EU funding for local rail improvements

Thursday, 2nd July 2009

Conservative MEPs are backing an EU funding bid for train line improvements that will help take freight off the region's busy roads. East Midlands Conservative MEPs Roger Helmer and Emma McClarkin are supporting the initiative of their Eastern Region colleagues, Geoffrey Van Orden, Robert Sturdy and Vicky Ford, and have written to the European Commission to press it to grant EU funds for rail upgrades to the Felixstowe-Nuneaton (F- 2- N) railway line.

Following sustained pressure from the MEPs and other interested parties, Network Rail finally put in a bid in May for 69 million of EU money to help fund the improvements.

Mr. Helmer commented

"We are delighted that Network Rail have at last submitted an application to the European Commission. EU funding is in reality nothing more than British tax-payers' money recycled through Brussels. We will be making every effort to ensure that this important project is realised. It's important that opportunities are not missed."

Miss McClarkin added

"We will now be doing everything we can to make this bid successful. We have all been stuck in jams along the A14. These improvement works will help get freight off the roads and onto rail. We are 100% behind this project which will provide sustainable transport infrastructure without further burdening our region's taxpayers."